March 28, 2012
HOUSTON - A record-breaking crowd of 1,785 showed up to Cougar Softball Stadium to take part in the Sixth Annual Striking Out Breast Cancer game Wednesday night and saw the Houston Cougars fall 15-4 to the No. 6 Texas Longhorns.
"I'm very disappointed with the outcome of the game but not the event itself," said head coach Kyla Holas. "Our offense and defense played well enough that we should've been in the ball game. The pitching was frustrating, we didn't stick to our game plans and gave up too many hits and home runs on counts where the ball shouldn't have been over the plate."
Despite the outcome of the game, the event itself was a success as the 1,785 announced attendance broke last year's mark of 1,672. Proceeds from the event benefited the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Houston affiliate.
"This event has grown into a monster. It's one of the biggest and most special events we do as a university. I'm so glad so many people were able to come out. It really makes an impact on the community."
The hard-hitting Longhorns scored used two big scoring innings of eight and seven runs to do their damage. UT jumped out to an 8-0 lead as the Longhorns doled out six hits to take an 8-0 lead after the first inning.
Houston responded immediately with three runs in their turn at bat. Holly Anderson reached base via an error and was moved over to third base off Melissa Gregson's sixth double of the year. Haley Outon cleared the bases with her team-leading ninth home run of the year to cut the lead down 8-3.
Gregson led off the third inning with a single to left field before reaching third via a stolen base and throwing error on the play. Jennifer Klinkert hit a long line drive to left center but Texas center fielder Brejae Washington reached up and speared the ball to save extra bases from Klinkert. Gregson was able to score on the tag however, cutting the lead to 8-4 but that was as close as Houston would get.
Both Gregson and Outon went 2-for-3 in the game as they combined for all of Houston's hits.
Bailey Watts (9-5) had a rough start as she walked the first two batters of the game before giving up five singles and a grand slam in the first inning. Sophomore Diedre Outon came in relief and kept the Texas hitters at bay for the most part before the Longhorns showed why they have the second best team batting average in the nation. Watts was able to come back in the game for Ty'ara Law after the freshman relieved Outon in the fourth and stop the scoring.
The Houston defense turned a double play and played mistake free ball but was unable to overcome the two big scoring barrages of Texas. UT hit two grand slams, one in both first and another in the fifth as Houston suffered their first run-rule defeat of the year.
The Cougars head to Birmingham, Ala., for a series against the UAB Blazers this weekend. The teams will square off in a double-header on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. before Sunday's finale at 12 p.m.